HTM Blog

Connecting learning and community.

The Holyoke Tutor/Mentor program connects volunteers to adult education classes in Holyoke.



Every term, I have students, who teachers excitedly promote to the next level, and who arrive at their new class looking slightly whiplashed and off balance by the change.

And then I go through a change of my own, and remember why.

Last spring, one of our programs closed. (Farewell, HolyokeWorks, we'll miss you!)

This meant many things for colleagues, students, for our class schedules, for our community. (What it means for our volunteers) And it meant I needed to update my graphics.

Do me a favor? Please don't tell the productivity police how long I spent trying to make the new version look as balanced as the old?

Frankly, it was probably fine long before I finished fiddling with it. The new graphic doesn't have the same balance as the old one. It can't. But it has its own balance and it's own dynamism.

And that, I think, is how change goes.

It can feel unbalanced for a little while, and much as we'll miss some of the old, ultimately the new is fine, good, even exciting. My whiplashed students ultimately settle and grow in their new classes. My graphic gets published and I stop fiddling and start doing something more genuinely productive.

Which is good, because there's a lot of change going around.

One program has closed

Another has taken in their classes

Another has new leadership

Others are figuring out a new partnership to provide advising to students. policies

Everyone is tweaking schedules, habits, content to help students learn.

We're welcoming lots of new staff

And, even more new students.

At HTM, we're planning a near-peer mentoring program (as soon as I figure it out  )

We've updated our training structure

And, yes, we're updating our graphics, and our programs, to reflect the changes around us.

Some of us (*cough* me *cough*) might handle change by fiddling.

But, it's how we grow.

So, we're also adding a suggestion box.

Because the next how-we-grow change might come from my head, but it might also come from our (wise, creative, caring) community of volunteers and colleagues, and we don't want to miss that.

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Saturday, 25 June 2022

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